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Eligibility requirements for Kitsap Co. Public Defense services

Kitsap Co. Public Defense provides attorneys to those people facing the possibility of jail time or of losing their children in the Kitsap County Superior or District Court who qualify based upon their financial status.

Financial Eligibility

To receive an attorney, you must qualify as indigent under Washington State law.  According to RCW 10.101, a person who is indigent:

  • Receives public assistance (temporary assistance for needy families, general assistance, poverty-related veterans' benefits, food stamps or food stamp benefits transferred electronically, refugee resettlement benefits, Medicaid, or supplemental security income); OR
  • Is involuntarily committed to a public mental health facility; OR
  • Receives an annual income, after taxes, of 125% less of the current federally established poverty level (external); OR
  • Is unable to pay the anticipated cost of counsel for the matter before the court because the available funds are insufficient to pay any amount for the appointment of counsel.

 

Case Eligibility

Kitsap County Public Defense only provides attorneys to people facing certain charges.  You may apply for a public defender if you have been charged with:

  • a felony in Kitsap County Superior or District Court
  • a misdemeanor in Kitsap County District Court
  • a juvenile offense or BECCA case in Kitsap County Superior Court
  • Contempt of Court for failing to pay child support in Kitsap County Superior Court

 

You may also apply for a public defender if:

  • DSHS/CPS has taken away your children in a dependency action in Kitsap County Superior Court
  • you are filing a misdemeanor appeal in Kitsap County Superior Court
  • you have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility    

 

Kitsap County Public Defense does not provide attorneys for:

  • civil lawsuits
  • divorce cases
  • traffic infractions
  • other civil matters or non-criminal charges
  • cases filed outside of Kitsap County
  • municipal court charges